Vaccinated, cured or dead. That’s what Germany’s health minister has warned the country’s population will be in a few months.
German health minister Jens Spahn issued the blunt, simple warning today as Germany’s neighbor Austria put its population back into a nationwide lockdown. Spahn’s warning is his strongest yet, aimed at the unvaccinated to urge them to get their Covid inoculations.
In Germany, new figures today reported that there were more than 30,000 new confirmed Covid cases in the past 24 hours alone. This is an increase of about half, compared with figures from the week prior.
Intensive care units are getting close to capacity, and hospitals are dealing with shortages in both healthcare professionals as well as necessary equipment such as respiratory machines. This combination of shortages means doctors may be forced to adopt a “triage system,” in which they will have to make judgement calls of which patients to treat based off of who has the best chance of survival.
The bleak assessment that there may soon be a prioritization of care due to lack of resources shows the reality of rising Covid cases, especially among the unvaccinated.
Spahn said that while his warning sounded cynical, the contagious Delta variant means Germans will be vaccinated, cured or dead from the disease. He urgently recommended getting the Covid shots.
The country’s outgoing leader, Chancellor Angela Merkel, has also issued a warning that the country’s Covid measures are not enough as the fourth wave of the pandemic sweeps across Germany.
Meanwhile in Austria, the nation is under a 10 day lockdown that could be extended for up to 20 days. The country has also announced a vaccine mandate to take place in February 2022, the first of its kind in a Western country, giving the country’s 8.9 million people a choice between vaccination, or staying at home.
Co-chair of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPPR) Helen Clark said that the wave going across Europe should be a wake-up call to especially wealthy nations, which have been acting as if the worst of the pandemic is over.